How Well Do You Know: Dr. Gilliar

By: Jaclyn Chua, OMS-II

After offering chocolate covered almonds straight from Switzerland, he said, “I’ll be right back, and then you can tell me what you think the theme of these photographs are.” I knew this was going to be far from a normal Q&A interview. The quirky affinity towards “New Perspectives” Dr. Gilliar instills on this campus is obvious by both the photographs and his creative endeavors inside and outside the field of medicine. It is a mantra he appears to apply in all aspects of his life. I hope the following interview, despite its many digressions, will do his perspective justice.

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I began the interview with the following series of questions which are often key to truly knowing an individual. These were Dr. Gilliar’s responses:

Math or English? Math.

Summer or Winter? Summer.

Morning or Night? Morning.

Tea or Coffee? Espresso.

Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter.

Black or White? White.

Dogs or Cats? Dogs.

Cake or Cupcakes? Cake.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.

Batman or Superman? Batman.

Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles.

Baked or Fried? Baked.

Peanut Butter or Jelly? Peanut Butter.

Favorite Music Group(s)? The Police and Sting.

Favorite Food? Any food.

Favorite Movie(s): The President’s Speech, Il Postino, and Cinema Paradiso

Desired Special Power: Emotional Mind-reading

Do you have any mottos by which you live?

There is no free lunch; expectation comes with entitlement. Also, do not cut corners. There are no shortcuts to success. True success has been built on both vision and hard work with a mixture of passion, rigor, and a heavy dose of reality. Lastly, by not looking, you may actually see better. There is a natural curiosity and creativity with which you must approach life.

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American Osteopathic Foundation

What times in your life did you truly feel successful?

When I was first hired as a press photographer shortly after high school when someone took a liking to my work. Also, when I graduated from osteopathic medical school at Michigan State University. Perhaps ‘not successful,’ but probably one of the happiest days in my life was when our son was born.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love photography, painting, etching, and drawing. I would like to get back to doing etchings and painting. I miss doing them, and I need to make time for them.

What is your favorite OMM technique?

“My own technique,” probably something that simply has come from years of doing this kind of work. You cradle the occiput while distracting the cervical spine using C7 as the fulcrum. I use this as both a diagnostic and treatment tool. I also enjoy “thoracic listening” for diagnostic purposes.

Who are the role models in your life?

I consider myself extremely fortunate to really have had mentors who have guided me…who took me under their wings and taught to “fly.” My undergraduate professor, William Bickel, Ph.D, who was my physics and microbiology professor in Arizona, taught me the rigors and honesty of research as well as Phillip Greenman D.O., FAAO whose associate I was at Michigan State.

I gravitate towards people who stay true to their own compass and those who somehow resonate with me on an emotional level. They often have qualities I wish to emulate.

What are your short term goals?

Here at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, I want to foster an internal culture where everyone is excited about improving upon a cutting edge curriculum that will prepare the students with the solid skills they need to achieve their long term goals. We must think outside the box. We must formulate a foundation upon which physicians can practice based on a true understanding of the healthcare system. In addition, we need to cultivate their roles as global civic leaders.

Are there any long term goals?

I hope to reconnect with my artwork, and I would like to learn some of the art of video and movie making. To stay active and remain flexible. Keep friendships and relationships fresh; Avoid the “status quo” at all costs.

What are the lessons you have learned as an educator and as the Dean of the College of  Osteopathic Medicine of NYIT?

Never rush to an early or uninformed conclusion or decision. Knowing facts is a small component of the learning equation: excitement, passion, true interest, rigor, dedication, perseverance, humility, and a heavy dose of humor are all positive ingredients that we need to foster.

As Dean, there are more meetings than your gluteus maximus can handle.

Is there any other message you would like to share?

It is my wish that the students truly see the learning process as a character-building opportunity and to welcome challenges as an opportunity for growth and change rather than working “around” or working “despite.” To think logically and enthusiastically.

Everyone must take his or her own path: DO NOT BE AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES. There is no such thing as a perfect path; walk your path…keep walking, and remain open to truly seeing the things that present themselves along it.

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“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Casey Kasem

How Well Do You Know….Dr. Kathleen Pergament D.O., MPH, Department of Medicine

By: Ashley Fox, OMS-II


Dr. Kathleen Pergament D.O., MPH

Q: So tell me a little about yourself and becoming a doctor.

A: I’m from New Jersey and my parents are both Filipino and doctors so I’ve always been surrounded by that, and I always wanted to be a doctor. I went to Vassar for undergrad, and then I did an MPH in Infectious Disease at Yale which was just great. Then when applying to medical school, I got in touch with Dr. Fabrizio, a cardiologist in NJ, and he became a mentor and I shadowed him.

(Author Note: sound familiar? Dr. Fabrizio D.O. is an adjunct clinical professor here!)

I went to LECOM because I liked their PBL track (similar to our DPC).  Afterwards, my residency was at St. Luke’s Roosevelt for Internal Medicine. I liked IM because of the whole House MD thing; I liked the detective aspect, trying to figure out the problem and working with differentials.

Q: What was your favorite subject/system in medical school?

A: Well it was a little different since I was PBL but I still had favorites. I still always was interested in infectious disease and I loved repro.

Q: Why NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine?

I always loved to teach because I feel you get to be a student and a teacher and it really forces you to stay on top of the current guidelines and information.  I saw about the opening at the college in a journal and really liked the opportunity to teach in a medical school since there’s the opportunity to teach in different aspects: give lectures, teach 3rd and 4th years in clinic.  I will be a DPC facilitator starting in February. I’ve been training with Dr. Portanova, he’s been a great mentor.

Q: What have you loved about NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine?

A: Wow, that’s really hard to choose. It’s really amazing how the administration really has the students take such an active role with CFA, etc. The ICC is also really great for getting the experience to work in a team, think on your toes, and the feedback is really helpful.

I love the student diversity; it’s nice to be part of that.  Obviously that’s being in New York, but I also like how well all the different cultures work here and how all the students cooperate in general is great.

Q: What have been some challenges/adjustments?

A: Well the active role of students is both a benefit and a challenge. I have to be sure to stay new and current and continue growth. Also, I hope to improve on constructive critiques in ICC robotics, so I can phrase things in a way that the students really listen to the critiques. The only other challenge is adjusting to Long Island.

Q: What do you bring to NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine and hope to accomplish here?

A: I bring my energy and enthusiasm because I’m so excited to be here; this was really a great position for me to get, and I think the fact that I am a recent grad and not so out of place from where you are now will hopefully bring a level of openness. My door is always open. I love to talk to medical students.

In the future I hope to get to work with women’s health research, HPV and preventative medicine especially.

Q: What is some advice you have for 1st/2nd years?

A: Don’t fear active learning. When I leave the podium I see the fear but you should embrace it because it’s a great way to learn. Be sure to make higher-order connections, or you won’t remember later otherwise. It’s a disservice to yourself to just learn PowerPoints because med school is actually short and you’ll never have the chance again to learn all this again. Also, if you struggle, it’s ok and be sure to get help early. We’re all used to a certain level of achievement and so that’s something to adjust to but ask the professors. Like I said, my door is always open.

Definitely take the time to decompress and have a life.

Q: How do you like to spend your spare time/decompress?

A: Nothing out there, I spend time with family. I like to decompress with TV (Downtown Abbey, Homeland and Millionaire Matchmaker, Project Runway are favorites).

Q: Going on this edition’s theme of “Chicken Soup for the Osteopathic Medical Student Soul,” what can you add to this?

A: You’re all dehydrated; you need to increase your water intake. You have to eat and sleep, you can’t just sit in the library for 8 hours “like lox”. Decompress, do yoga, get a manicure/pedicure. I’m trying to think of something for guys, obviously these are what I do. Go to a movie? Just “let out the sympathetics”.

Q: Anything you would like to add?

A: Just with ICC, you guys are great with taking a history but make sure to do a physical!


Dr. Pergament is a part of the Department of Medicine at NYIT Collefe of Osteopathic Medicine and works in the Riland Academic Health Center. She gives lectures in the 1st and 2nd year of studies, is an ICC Robotics adviser and future DPC facilitator. In addition, she is the faculty adviser for APAMSA (Asian-Pacific-American Medical Students Association) and a faculty member of the Global Health Organization.  She Graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2009 after attending Vassar undergraduate and completing a Master’s in Public Health at Yale. She finished an Internal Medicine Residency at St Luke’s Roosevelt in Manhattan in June 2012.